Good cat, bad cat…and ‘on the fence’ cat.

littlelambkitty

Welcome back!

Last week we talked about how crazy for cats some people are, and reviewed a few rules to keep in mind when wearing feline fashion.

This week we’ll look at some amazing examples that truly are the cats pajamas, and some that will make you hope that curiosity is indeed enough to kill the cat, in this case.

GOOD CAT

I HAVE to start off with my best find in the ‘Good Cat’ category.

The first time I laid eyes on this beautiful blouse by Eyedoll, I was smitten. This bold, beaded Lion King-esque graphic set against a stark background of dark royal blue and black was simply too much! I love how this piece will work with a totally cash’ outfit- pair it with a dark skinny pant and flats, or all dressed up – tuck it loosely into this season’s pair of wide-leg extra-long dress pants, combined with a kitten (pun intended!) heel. Keep jewellery to a minimum (maybe a few stacked thick bracelets) as this piece really speaks (or meows) for itself.

sequinblousehigh

Whatever you do, do NOT hide this under a jacket while indoors, and if you ARE wearing this outside in the winter, run! Run to your destination as fast as you can. Get inside, fling your coat to the side, catch your breathe, and get ready for the compliments to fly. Anyone who raises an eyebrow or flat out has the GALL to ask ‘what ARE you wearing?’ simply doesn’t get it. And that’s okay. Chances are this person also wears strappy sandals with capris…..

Let’s be professional, shall we? Orla Kiely’s Ditsy Cat collection is a great example of conservative, feminine-feline done right. Not cheap, but not over-the-top expensive, these pieces are perfect for the office:

    orlakittydress               orlakittyshirt

Ditsy Cat Print Shirt – Chalke: $144.00                 Ditsy Cat Bib panel Top – Chalke: $144.00

     ditsycatshift                                         orlakittyshirtdress

Ditsy Cat shirt dress:  $239.00                              Ditsy Cat black shift dress: $199.00

Next item: I love this feline spin on the LBD by Vanilla Mood, not office-appropo by any means, but great for a night out. This is more on the cat-cute, rather than cat-crazy side. At a humble price tag of $52.00, you can’t go wrong!

goodcatLBD

Or, if you’re in a slightly more whimsical mood (but still not crazy), check out this pink little number with Harajuku Fashion Cats Print by Choies $57.74 . Again, not for the office by any means, but perfect for a Saturday afternoon coffee chat or shopping session with your BFF. Pair with a cute set of flats (no heels please!) and a matching clutch and you’re all set. A little too sugary sweet for you? You can easily edge the look up a bit by throwing your best black fitted moto-leather jacket over it. Done and done.

goodcatdress

Moving along to accessories, these little kitty studs are the best! Dainty, feminine, with just a touch of feline, how could you possibly go wrong with these Cute Kitty Rhinestone earrings by LilyFair Jewelry?

catearrings

I’m also a fan of this Zoe Chicco 14k Hammered Gold Tiny Cat Pendant Necklace:

cathighnecklaceIt’s quite possible that I even OWN this PendantGeek Business Cat necklace (it’s BUSINESS CAT for goodness sakes, how could I have turned this down?)

businesscatpendant

Last but certainly not least,  don’t forget your purr-se 🙂

Here are a few options, ranging from the modest price tag to the absolutely obscene “you-could-have-saved-a-small-village-but-instead-you-chose-to-be-vain-and-bought-this-purse” :

catspurselow

vegancatclutch

catpursehigh

BAD CAT

For every great example of feline fashion, there are ten horrible ones.

I still find it amazing that the ‘Howl at the moon’ series of shirts were as popular as they were. While I get a chuckle at all the variations of this theme, including the one below, we can all agree that this would fall into the “Bad cat” category, right? Right???? This little  number is aptly named 3 Keyboard Cat Moon.

This is something I’d maybe wear if I lost a bet, or was given a large sum of money to wear for a period not exceeding 1 hour.

catmoon
(Cat in yellow shirt) Keyboards just make sense to me, man. I get ‘em, you know.?

I love Modcloth and have gotten my share of clothing and accessories from this amazing online store. It’s cute, it’s unique, it’s quirky. But often times Modcloth crosses the line between quirky and insane, like they did with their Count Cat-cula sweater:

catdracula

Well, once again Modcloth gets a dishonorable mention with this ‘I-am-a-full-out-crazy-cat-lady’ dress, AKA their ‘Hooked on a feline’ dress. There are currently 193 reviews for this dress (it’s also sold out), which means there are at least 193 crazy very, VERY devoted cat ladies out there.

catdress

Moving along, can we talk ‘Bad Cat’ jewelry? I have to be honest and say that this wasn’t quite as easy to find as bad or crazy cat dresses or sweaters, but I did manage to round a few examples up:

From Jonette Jewelry, this aptly named ‘Cat drinking from toilet‘ pin is…well, a depiction of a cat drinking from a toilet. How lovely.  As an owner of two beautiful siamese cats, I am very well aware of some of their….proclivities, shall we say, but I would never make a brooch out of it.

catintoilet

Well this next one takes the cake. The great thing about fashion is that it’s so subject to interpretation, there is so much room for expression and creativity of one’s personal life and experiences, which is one of the biggest reasons I’ve always been so drawn to it. Put two people in the exact same outfit, and each tells a different story.

However….sometimes, I think we as human beings take that room for expression a bit too far. Sometimes it strays into the downright scary and unhygienic. Well, I’ll just stop talking now and let you be the judge.

catfurballnecklace

So…the necklace above was crafted entirely out of shed cat hair. That’s right. SHED.CAT.HAIR. And apparently these artists are selling it for a mint on stores like Etsy. It’s one thing to wear your OWN cat’s hair (which most cat owners will tell you is bad enough ie – black dress pants – white cat fur, say no more), but the idea of harvesting your cat’s shed furs one by one and crafting them into jewellery to sell to another individual is beyond this lamb’s scope of reason. Personally I just don’t get it, but I guess all the power to anyone who has found a way to make something out of almost nothing, and get paid on top of it. Maybe I’m just jealous. Well, I’m not, but I’m just saying that to be nice.

I guess if I was really nice I’d include the link to this book I stumbled across while doing my research for this post, in case you want it : Crafting with cat hair – Cute handicrafts to make with your cat. (Ok, did you seriously just click on the link? You know WordPress tells me when my readers click on the links, right??)

craftycathair

ON THE FENCE CAT

My first instinct was to put this piece into the “Bad cat” category, but I couldn’t stop laughing when I was looking at this one. Not laughing in disgust, but laughing in a “this is horrible yet ironic and funny” way. For that reason, I find it hard to make a final judgement call on this one. I probably would wear this Ugly X-mas Sweater – Laser Cat-Zilla sweater ONCE as a joke,  and mostly just to get a reaction from my friends, then shelve it indefinitely, bringing it out only in the most dire of circumstances, like when a friend needs cheering up, for example.

lasercatzillaIn case of emergency break glass wear this sweater.

Ugly cat sweater, check. For this next item, perhaps I’m saying this because I am biased towards the very beautiful Choupette who was the muse for the following collection, but I just can’t let myself categorize this into the “Bad Cat” section. I mean, it’s not great, it’s….maybe it’s not even good and yet somehow I can’t bring myself to hate this latest Monster Choupette collection from Karl Lagerfeld. It’s kitsch, somewhat childish, overpriced and yet…..it still makes me smile. If someone handed me a Monster Choupette wallet or clutch from this collection I wouldn’t turn it down 🙂

karlchoupettecollection

I have to say, I had a lot of fun with this one, combining two things so near and dear to my heart – cats and fashion. Not sure yet how I’ll top this but I will do my very best…

I remain yours,

LLsignature2

Felines, Françoise and fashion.

littlelambkitty

“Although not many dogs have style, cats have it with abundance” – Charles Bukowski

Anyone who knows me, knows I love cats. I don’t consider myself to have attained to the status of full-fledged “crazy cat lady” yet, but give me time, I’m still fairly young. On that note, where do I get one of these ????

crazycatlady

*Side note: I would like to boast a bit and announce the completion of not one, but TWO, outdoor cat shelters (consisting of straw, a pillowcase, 2 rubbermaid containers, and more straw) (I have yet to confirm that any of the SEVEN confirmed feral cats in my backyard have used said shelters) *End note*

Regardless, you can imagine how thrilled I am to see that cats have rightfully taken their place in the fashion world, and they don’t appear to be leaving any time soon. This is both exciting and terrifying, for reasons that shall become apparent fairly soon.

Below is an excerpt from the 2012 Harper’s Bazaar article ‘Kat Daddy’, allowing you, the reader, a journey into the charming/disturbing/bizarre mind of fashion genius, Mr. Karl Lagerfeld. The object of Lagerfeld’s affection is one Birman kitty cat named Choupette, who I will admit is beyond gorgeous!

karlandcat

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Kristina O: Tell me about her eating habits.

Karl L: She goes in the kitchen and sits in front of the food. She doesn’t like to eat on the floor, so I have to put the food on the table. Her dishes are by Goyard. She has one for water, one for her little croquette, and one for her pâté. You have to serve everything, and she makes a choice.

Kristina O: Does she have a favorite person besides you?

Karl L: I hope not! But, yes, the two maids, especially one called Françoise. They spend hours together and do her beauty jobs, her hair, and all those things, and they have moments of tenderness with her. They have to write in the book exactly what they’re doing. Because there’s a diary, I know everything.

===========================================================================

“Because there’s a diary, I KNOW EVERYTHING”

A little creepy, no? I can only imagine the interview process for poor Françoise:

===========================================================================

Karl L: So Madam Françoise, I assume you have come with a full portfolio, oui? I require pictures, dates, fur samples, etc of all the petites chats you have cared for.

Françoise: But of course, Monsieur Lagerfeld.

Karl L: I’ll be confirming that you have indeed studied French cuisine and worked as a chef de cuisine for at least two Michelin restaurants, including time spent as a Saucier and most importantly, a Poissonier.

Françoise: Oui Monsieur Lagerfeld, I have attached my letters of referrals from Monsieurs Paul Bocuse, Alain Ducasse, and Madame Julia Child.

Karl L: Well, if that’s the best you can do……okay. Next question: Would you take a bullet for my Choupette? Because on occasion, you may need to.

Françoise: Ah……(hesitation).

Karl L: Mon Dieu…do you want this job or not, Françoise??? I have tried to fit Choupette for a Kevlar vest but it looks horrible on her, I simply won’t subject her to it! I won’t do it!

Françoise: Okay, oui, yes, yes, I will take a bullet for le petite-chat Choupette!!!

Karl L: Good. Last question….when you are brushing Choupette, is the brush pattern ‘Brush-brush-stroke-pet-brush’ or ‘Brush-stroke-stroke-pet-brush-brush’?? Think carefully about this!

Françoise: Actually, Monsieur Lagerfeld, I have been having much success with the new Japanese technique ‘Brush-brush-brush-stroke-stroke-pet’. It was introduced by the team at Hello Kitty and it’s been very well received thus far!

Karl L: No, NO, this is insanite! It cannot be done!!! Get out of my house!!! Wait….wait Françoise, perhaps this, like my creations in fashion, is so daring….so new, that only the bravest of visionaries would be courageous enough to bring this to the rest of the world. You have passed this part of the interview!!

Françoise: This…..this part??

Karl L: Yes, surely you had to know that Choupette would want to speak with you herself!! *shakes head in wonderment*.

===========================================================================

But seriously, upon reading this article, I was truly torn between admiration and annoyance – admiration that this iconic fashion rock-star would surrender his heart to this sapphire-eyed furball, and annoyance that this little feline gets treated better than most humans do! To give you an idea of what Choupette’s dishes may have cost, it may help to tell you that a certain Goyard traveling stainless steel feeding dish set sells for a mere $4,500. My two beautiful blue-point Siamese fur babies get a $10 stainless steel dish set from Pet Smart. Hmm, I guess I could bedazzle it…….

So you want to pay homage to the species that were the BFFs of pharaohs? I can hardly blame you.Cats are pretty magnificent creatures. Here are a few points to paw-nder when outfitting oneself in the motif of the Felis Catus :

1. Similar to the plaid rule, if you’re scared, start off small. There are an endless amount of options for the newbie who is still a bit faint of heart when it comes to cat fashion. Why not try a delicate gold kitten necklace? Maybe be daring and get a silver-gold combo necklace with TWO kittens on it!! Perhaps a little purse?

catspurselow

2.  Pick ONE item and stick with it. Even if you’re not in a professional setting, please resist the urge to go full-fledged-feline. It doesn’t look as “cute” as you think it does, I promise you.

fullcatoutfit

3. Save the felines for casual Fridays. Look at yourself in the mirror. No really, LOOK at yourself. You’re wearing a cat on your shirt. While it’s quirky and possibly cool, you can’t possibly expect to pull this off in an office environment on any other work day. And please, don’t even THINK of wearing this on a job interview, unless said interview is for a position at your local chapter of the SPCA, OR it’s the teensiest-tiniest barely discernable cat pattern gracing the sleeves of a beautiful creme chiffon-esque blouse, tucked safely under a crisp black blazer 🙂

4. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, you gotta OWN this look! Cats are very confident, you’d agree? You like them? Great. You hate them? Sorry for your loss, it’s no fur off their back. So, do them (and yourself!) justice by channeling that attitude and wear your piece with fortitude. This beautiful lady certainly is:

fashioncookiesblogItalian fashion blogger Vale of ‘Fashion and Cookies’

Please join me next time for my ‘Good cat, Bad cat’ segment, where we’ll discuss some of the best and worst in cat fashion. It won’t disappoint, but it may lead to some serious purr-ging of your closet 🙂

choupette

I remain your faithful servant in the purrrrr-suit of fashion,

LLsignature2

Blinded…..by the Bling

littlelambglitzy

Well hello there. Looks like it’s been a few weeks since we talked. Or rather, a few weeks since Lyttle Lamb wrote, you read, and hopefully shopped. In case you were wondering, Lyttle Lamb wasn’t lost, she just fell a little ill. Nothing too serious, just a case of a seasonal cold virus. Oh yes, she also found her way to Las Vegas over a weekend, but more about that in another post. Having said that, it was in this fab city, ensconced in perpetual light from the sun’s rays in the day time and the trillion lightbulbs that work their magic at night, that she found her inspiration to do her next blog about bling.

This week’s post is a little backwards; rather than this lil’ lamb spinning a good yarn and getting lost in rhetoric, she’ll cut straight to the chase and just show some fab threads. CAVEAT: It was soooooo hard to limit the PLETHORA of bling-bling in each category to only three choices. Oh, it was agonizing!!!! I am throughly convinced that the mental anguish of having to make said ‘cuts’ has only served to prolong Lyttle Lamb’s (aka moi) bout of rhinopharyngitis. *cough* and *sniff* 😦

Do I have any sympathy at all? Ok, here we go:

BLAZERS

sequinblazerhighsequinblazermed sequinblazerlow

TWENTY EASY by KAOS $185.00

My Gleam Job Blazer $89.99

Sequin Open Front Blazer $39.90

TOPS

sequinblousehigh sequinblousemed1sequinblousemed

Eyedoll blouse $192.00 (amazing!!

Round Up Sequin Tee $100.47

Glitz a Miracle Top $44.99

CAMIS/TANKS

sequincamihigh sequincamimedsequincamilow

The Illustrator Tank by Sass & Bide: $157.94

Breton Stripe Sequin Tank Reg price: $140.00 Sale: $85.00

Aztec Sequin Swing Tank Reg Price: $22.99 Sale: $13.99

DRESSES

sequindresshigh sequindressmedsequindresslow

Parker Black Sequined Cap-Sleeve Dress $484.00

All over sequin dress: Reg Price: $180.00 Sale Price: $135.00

Strapless Sequin Bodycon Dress in Gold $38.99

PANTS

sequinpanthighsequinpantmed sequinpantslow

Alice + Olivia Pants – Sequin Gathered $525.02 (How beautiful are these??!!)

Joa Shine On Sequin Trousers $111.89

I ‘Heart’ Ronson® Sequin Soft Pants Reg Price: $78.75  Sale: $45.93

SHORTS

 sequinshorthighsequinshortlowsequinshortlow

Sequin Soiree Shorts $128.00

CATCH22 Shorts $50.00

ASOS Shorts with Sequin Stars Reg price $75.80 Sale: $22.74

sequinshortsmed

BONUS PICK! Rare Multi Blue Sequin Co-Ord Shorts $57.00

SHOES

sequinshoeshighsequinshoemedsequinshoelow

Giuseppe Zanotti I47027 (some day these will be mine!!!) $1,595.00

SCHUTZ Pump $238.00

Rachel Roy Keedan $39.99

sequinflathigh sequinflatmedsequinflatlow

DE SIENA Moccasins $ 299.00

ALL BLACK Sequins Pointy-Toe Slip-On Sneaker $130

Bamboo Mansion Shoe Reg Price: $35.74 Sale: $15.18

Jewellery

sequinnecklacehigh sequinnecklacemedsequinnecklacelow

Shourouk Zulu Crystal and Sequin Necklace Reg Price: $985.00 Sale: $405.00

Sparkling Sage Plum, Emerald, & Aqua Crystal Bib Necklace Reg Price: $195.95 Sale: $77.44

South Beach Resin Collar Limited time price: $35.00

sequinearringshighearcuffmed sequinearringlow

Lionette By Noa Sade – Orian Earrings $358.00

Stargirl Ear adornment set $38.00

Von Trapp Drop earrings Limited time price: $15.00

NAILS

sequinnailshigh  sequinnailsmedsequinnaillow2

Nail Glitz 120 GOLD SOUK £ 39.99

Nail Glitz 131 SILVER CARAT £ 14.99

Elegant Touch Candy Sprinkles Nail Wraps £5.00

Did you enjoy, my wonderful readers? The Giuseppe Zanotti’s and the Noa Sade earrings were my personal favs 🙂

Until next time, please do try to avoid this nasty cold virus going around, a red nose and watery eyes REALLY do not accessorize well with ANYTHING.

Yours in sickness, and health….and most of all fashion.

LLsignature2

Tangled up in Plaid, Part 2: The Highs and the Lows (AKA NEW Buying Series!)

Featured image

Good afternoon shoppers 🙂

Today I’m pleased to announce a new feature entitled: ‘The Highs and the Lows’.

I’ll be taking the previous week’s subject and, after hours of painstaking research, will present you, the reader, with a bevy of options to choose from. This is not an elitist blog by any means; a little lamb such as myself certainly knows when to splurge and when to save her lint! From amazing accessories to stylish staples, I will do my very best to give you options that suit every girl’s budget! Items will be grouped into three categories:

  • High = Kind of a splurge, save your pennies!
  • Medium = Not exactly guilt-inducing, but not exactly frugal either 🙂
  • Low  = What a deal, you better get this before its gone!!

Luxury or ‘High ‘ options will be listed first, ‘Medium’ options second, and ‘Low’ options will be listed last. Pretty straightforward, right? Without further ado, let’s begin!

Frocks and Smocks

Dresses

plaiddress

Sacai tied neck dress: $3,173.31

Parker Mallory Plaid dress: $349.11

Peter Pan Collar Tartan Skater Dress in Red: Reg $59.90, Sale price $50.92

Pants

plaid pants

ALEXANDER MCQUEEN Casual plaid pants: Reg price: $644.00 Sale price: 354.00

Hudson Jeans ‘Vanish’ Plaid Chino Pants: Reg price: $250.31 Sale price: $187.73  

Charlotte Russe Plaid Chiffon jogger pants: $22.99

Blazers

plaidblazer

Moschino Royal Steward plaid blazer: Reg $1,321.00, Sale price $ 793.00

Pinko Black Plaid Blazer (that black sequin detail on the bottom of the jacket is soooooooo well done!): Reg $330, Sale price $182

May Tartan Brushed Wool Look Blazer: Reg $75, Sale price $50.00 

Jackets

Plaid fitted peacoat

Ralph Lauren Plaid Wool Duffel Coat: $598.00

Dabuwawa Notched Lapel Double-Button Plaid Coat: $120

Forever 21 Plaid Boucle Coat: $53.90

Shirts

plaidshirts

Burberry Brit Check cotton shirt: $381.09

Classic plaid sheer shirt by JOA: $66.99

Old Navy Women’s Plaid Flannel Shirts: $24.94

Shoes and boots

Shoes – heels

plaidheels

Philipp Plein High heels Scottish (click on the link and you will realize what actually makes up the plaid detail – amazing!!!): $1,085

Bebe Leticia Black plaid heels: $124.99

Ed Hardy Batu red Plaid heel: Reg $69.99 Sale price $49.99

Shoes – flats

plaidshoes

Markus Lupfer Oxford: $395

Sam Edelman Felicia ballet flat: $110

Sole Society Lillie ballet flat: $64.95

Dress boots

plaiddressboots

Scotland Shop Wedge Heel Tartan Ankle Boots: $648.18

DIBRERA BY PAOLO ZANOLI Ankle boot: $284. (um…..how AMAZING are these!!!!!!)

Akira Strappy Plaid Platform Booties: $50.85

Rain boots

plaidrainboots

Burberry Check Panel Rainboots: $295

Lauren By Ralph Lauren Rossalyn Rain Boots: $104.28

Western Chief Checked Plaid Boot: $29.99

Bells and Whistles

Scarves

plaidscarves

Pierre-Louis Mascia multiple print scarf: $390

Sole Society Wool Plaid Scarf: $44.95

Modcloth Academic Aspirations Scarf in Yellow: $24.99

Bonus picks!!! (Loved these too much to not share!)

plaidscarvesmaryspicks

Isaac Mizrahi Oversized Plaid Scarf in Orange or Lime: $48

Scotch & Soda Red Plaid Blanket scarf: $65

Handbags

plaidpurse

Vivienne Westwood Derby Classic Eco Leather Small Satchel: $820

Aleanto red plaid hand bag: $149

Sole Society ‘Bessie’ Red and Grey plaid purse: $54.95

Hats: Dress

plaidfedoras

Brooks Brothers Foldable Fedora: $268

Black plaid leather-look brim fedora hat by River Island: $50

Dorfman Pacific Plaid with Buckle Accent Fedora Hat: Reg $35.00  Sale price $18.77

Hats: Casual

plaidbaseballcap

Bizet Mohair & Wool plaid: $225

Ami Alexandre Mattiussi Tartan Wool Six Panel Baseball hat: $141

Crooks and Castles – The Bird Trap Snapback Hat in Red: $21

Well I dont know about you but I am all shopped out for the day! I hope you enjoyed your first taste of The Highs and the Lows and that you now have at least one of these goodies on your must-have list, I know I certainly do!!

Until next time, I remain your humble servant in fashion,

LLsignature2

Tangled up in plaid

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“After plaid shirt days and nights when you made me your own, now you mailed back my things and I walk home alone” – Taylor Swift

Well Taylor, it must have been a HORRIBLE plaid shirt, because no one in their right mind would ever send back a good plaid shirt. They just wouldn’t. They’d keep it for themselves and pair it with a good…well, we’ll get to that soon.

Note before starting: I realize that strictly speaking, ‘tartan’ refers to a fabric woven in bands of colored yarn that repeat in sequence, whereas ‘plaid’ refers to said tartan cloth slung over the shoulder as a kilt accessory, or a plain ordinary blanket. For the purposes of this blog, and my life in general, I use tartan/plaid interchangeably. Plaid/tartan experts, please just let me have this one 🙂 End note.

I must say that I am quite indubitably, unequivocally, and irrevocably in love with today’s subject matter, and writhing in mental anguish that I have to mind, or rather, count my P’s and Q’s, and all the other letters I’ve used today in an attempt to keep my word count under a million.

Oh how I would love to wax poetic about said subject, writing bound volumes that could rival the Human Genome Project itself (Note: Kind of a big deal, completed in 2003, the Human Genome project identified and mapped the genetic sequence of a human genome. It took 13 years to complete, filled over 100 volumes, and cost taxpayers about $2.7 billion US dollars).

humangenomeproject2
Yep, this cost $2.7 billion, that’s a lot of Louboutins, my friends!

humangenomeproject

I struggled with a title for today’s post. After all, what title could befit such threads? What caption could call out such a wondrous covering? What epithet could explain such an ensemble?

‘Mad for plaid’, ‘Plaid-itude’, ‘Tangled up in plaid’, ‘Plaidy-plaiderson’, ‘Forever Plaid’, ‘Who’s your plaid-dy?’, all of these titles flew through my mind. It’s hard to put a simple label on a piece of cloth that has stood the test of time, that has given so much to fashion and asked for so little back *sob*.

From gracing the kilted hips of William Wallace, to lining the sweat-soaked backs of the angst-filled-mosh-pit-dwelling-Kurt Cobain-devotees, to wrapping the lithe runway bodies of Moschino’s Autumn/Winter 2013-14 collection (amazing), this versatile raiment has been a constant and loyal companion to humanity.

Fun Fact: The British ‘Dress Act’ of 1746 actually banned the tartan (a first -time offense resulted in imprisonment for 6 months. A second offense meant seven years exile to one of King George III’s colonies). Thankfully, this law was repelled in 1782 but….if you do the math, that means 36 years without plaid. Wow. What were they thinking? I think I know:

 

battleofculloden
Battle of Culloden AKA Jealousy over plaid

To atone for this hot-mess of a law, King George IV visited Scotland in 1822 and, donned in a full Highland Outfit including the snazzy plaid socks seen below, gave a great boost to the kilt and tartan. Plaid was back in style!!!

kinggeorgeproscription3
FYI – This outfit cost the equivalent of £110,000 in today’s currency.

Ok, enough of the history lesson and on to the matter at hand. Listed below are the top five rules to keep in mind when wearing plaid.

1. Mind your colors:  I actually tried to get a verifiable count on the number of plaid patterns currently in existence. There was no answer. There WAS, however, a charming little site called Plaidmaker, that lets you make your own plaid (which I will be doing the very moment I hit ‘Publish’ on this blog). The very existence of said site tells me that there is almost no limit to the combinations of colors and 90 degree angles that one may put together to make plaid. That, and the fact that the site literally says “With this website you can create every plaid pattern imaginable”.

Now, does that mean that one should try to WEAR every color of plaid imaginable? Absolutely not. That would be FRR (Fashion Russian Roulette).

A very general rule of thumb you can follow when determining your “colors” is to take a look at your veins in natural light. Examine your inner wrist. What color are the veins? Veins that are:

  • mainly blue = cool tones
  • green veins = warm tones
  • mix of blue and green = neutral tones

Warm toned individuals tend to look the best while wearing earthy colors – bronzes, golds, peaches, ruddy reds, oranges, earthy greens, mocha browns and ivory.

Cool toned people shine while wearing jewel tones such as vibrant emerald green, rosy pinks, plums, silvers, royal or icy blues, and pure white. Blue based colors look best.

Again, remember that with any rule, there are exceptions 🙂

So, for someone who is a cool-toned individual like myself, the classic Burberry plaid with it’s pale butterscotch coloring just isn’t the best look. Yep, that’s why I stay away from it. Not my color, sorry Burberry! This has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that I just can’t afford you….not at all.

Personally, I can’t get enough of the cool-toned plaid shirts in shades of raspberry, cherry red and deep blue like the ones seen below:

 

plaidcasual

 

2. Strike a balance:

I struggle with stating this one as a rule because I’ve seen some amazing plaid ensembles that layer several different plaids, a plethora of plaids, and they look……amazing.

plaidrosamundpike
Rosamund Pike and the Trifecta of Plaids

Some, however, are just a hot-mess of plaid altogether. Refer to Exhibit A:

 

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Basically speaking, it’s a good idea to contrast the “Hey, I’m plaid, look at me, LOOK AT ME!!!!” spirit of plaid with a feminine “Oh hello there, why yes, I am available for lunch dates and charity tea parties, and while I’m at it, let me see if there’s an empty spot on my dance card for you”, as seen below:

 

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3. If you’re scared, it’s ok to start off sloooooooow: Plaid can be daunting to a newbie, so rather than throwing your hands up in the air and screaming “I can’t do this!!!!” (although it IS fun to be dramatic), why not add a little dash of plaid here and there, maybe a pair of Royal Stewart red pumps, perhaps a bracelet… an umbrella, perchance?

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4. Two wrongs don’t make a right, but two prints make it perfect!

Try pairing a completely different print with plaid, you may be surprised at how amazing it looks! Note of caution: If you’re a little lambish (hehe), stick with just ONE other print besides the plaid.

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5. Above all else, OWN it: If you’re going to wear plaid, wear it with confidence and have fun with it! This girl certainly is:

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So, that’s all there is….for today. I’m off to the nearest craft store to find gold sequins and fabric glue, after I design the McLamb tartan, of course.

I hope today’s post inspired you to give plaid a try, and if you’re already trying it, to succeed. If you’re already succeeding, then I just hope you’ll fall in love with plaid all the more so.

Until next time, I remain yours

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“You are imperfect, permanently and inevitably flawed…..” PART TWO

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“….and you are beautiful” – Amy Bloom

I hope everyone had a lovely week and weekend. I managed to catch up with a few girlfriends over a few martinis, and officially enact a book club which will most likely not consist of reading any books whatsoever. Take that, Oprah.

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Last week, I talked about ‘fashion mental block’ and offered a few reasons why your client may be suffering from this very debilitating affliction (is it too dramatic to say it’s ‘debilitating’? I don’t think so. I mean, it’s not like I’m starting a charity for the victims of FMB – Fashion Mental Block…..ok, this is a great idea. Note to self: Google ‘how to start a charity’)

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Without any further ado, here are a few rules to keep in mind when shopping with/for that client or friend/family member who has a hard time seeing the possibilities that you do:

  1. Resist the urge to take any rejection personally. This cannot be overstated. Sure, there is a chance that your client just plain hates what you’ve picked out for them, and are secretly asking themselves why they chose you as their stylist, but it’s more likely that they simply can’t see themselves being able to pull it off because this is all new to them.
  2. Remind yourself of rule #1.
  3. Stop talking at them and start talking TO them! Instead of jumping in with more assurances of “TRUST ME, this looks great on you”, “why can’t you just take a chance!” or “um…I kind of know what I’m talking about here” (totally guilty of doing this), draw out their feelings by asking questions such as:
  • When you put this on, what are the first few words that come to mind?
  • How does this outfit make you feel?
  • How do you think your friends/partner/colleagues would describe you when they see you wearing this? What is the BEST thing they could say about it…what is the WORST thing they could say about it?
  • Have you worn something like this before? If you did, where did you wear it and how did you feel when you wore it?
  • What is your biggest worry about wearing something like this?

You may be surprised at how simply listening and talking it out will help. Never patronize your client or minimize their feelings with an albeit well-intentioned but condescending “oh that’s just silly, you look lovely”. It’s not silly to them, and quite honestly if they felt they were able to do this on their own, you wouldn’t have a job 🙂

  1. Learn how to differentiate between the client who:
  • has a somewhat lower self-esteem whereby they have some negativity about a particular body part or their body in general. We all suffer from feelings of doubt from time to time.
  • has a simple case of ‘fashion mental block’ because they’ve never experimented with color, shapes, textures, etc. in fashion. This is where you come in!
  • is having an off day where nothing catches their interest. We all have those days!
  • complains that nothing ever “fits” right. In the year 2014, there is a fit for almost everything and everyone, and when that isn’t the case, a tailor is your best friend!
  • has a general streak of stubbornness (a quality which will actually make them rock that amazing outfit even more when they DO wear it…and they will)…

…versus the client who:

  • spends an inordinate amount of time staring in a mirror or any shiny surface at the real or imagined “flaw(s)”
  • avoids mirrors or shiny surfaces altogether
  • constantly covers up the “afflicted area” (e.g. hats, scarves, make-up)
  • repeatedly asks you and others to tell them that they look okay (also referred to as ‘reassurance seeking’)
  • takes great lengths to avoid social situations, public places, work, school, etc…

The traits listed above could be an indication of more serious body image issues, such as BDD (Body Dysmorphic Disorder). BDD involves a serious preoccupation with a defect (real or imagined) in appearance to the point that it takes over the person’s life, interfering with their daily activities of living.

Plenty of people dislike aspects of their appearance, but in general feel good about themselves. They’re able to look at the big picture. For those with BDD, the focus becomes incredibly narrowed.

I’ll talk about BDD in greater detail in a future blog, but I couldn’t possibly write a blog that touches on issues of body image without mentioning this serious condition. The bottom line?

If you suspect that a client may have a condition such as BDD do not ‘play doctor’ and dispense psychiatric advice; you aren’t a psychiatrist! Kindly ask your client if they have talked to anyone about how they are feeling. Reiterate that while you are very happy to talk about the situation and offer your support, if this is a concern that the client feels is literally taking over their life, a trained professional would be able to help in ways that you are not able to. Reassure them however, that you aren’t ‘pawning’ them off to someone else; you are still willing to work with them during and/or after they have received further assistance.

Well, that got a little heavy, didn’t it? Next time we’ll have a bit more fun, promise!

I remain fashionably yours,

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“You are imperfect, permanently and inevitably flawed…..” PART ONE

Featured image….and you are beautiful”  – Amy Bloom

I’m procrastinating writing my second blog post. What a way to begin. Two minutes in and I already have writer’s block. Okay, let me rephrase that. It’s not so much a case of writer’s block, as it is a case of ‘this-is-the-hardest-subject-to-write-about-and-yet-the-most-important-because-if-I-don’t-address-this-before-everything-else-everything-else-I-write-won’t-matter’. Make sense?

Let me begin (again) by saying that I truly wanted to start off today’s post with something fun, I REALLY did. Perhaps an article on where to find the most glam headbands – queue scene to pics of exotic feathered fripperies and jewel encrusted head pieces that would rival the Maharaja himself.

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Or, maybe a post on how to snag that perfect tutu skirt – all those beautiful, ethereal layers of tulle whipped into a perfectly wearable piece of pale pink confectionary. Willy Wonka himself would weep over the beauty of it all. *Sigh*

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Instead, I find myself relenting to that nagging voice in the back of my head that simply repeats “it’s all for nothing if they won’t actually WEAR it”.

One of the greatest (if not THE greatest) challenges I’ve encountered while styling friends or family is trying to overcome this mental fashion block, this tiny voice inside my ‘client’s’ head that tells them NOTHING looks good on them. For all of my confidence and reassuring, cajoling, begging, lecturing, pleading, threatening?, etc. they simply refuse to heed my advice and share my vision of what ‘could be’, replacing it instead with their own reality of what ‘isn’t’. It isn’t neutral enough, colorful enough…it isn’t short enough, long enough…it isn’t conservative enough, edgy enough. In short, it isn’t good enough, not because it truly isn’t good enough, but because in their mind, they just can’t make it work.

Here’s the thing. I can:

  • put together an entire outfit, complete with shoes and accessories in a matter of minutes (perhaps even in one minute flat aka “Donned in 60 seconds”)
  • lecture on the merits of belts; when to belt, when NOT to belt
  • explain the difference an almond toe versus pointed toe versus round toe pump will make to your posture and what heel to wear with what skirt
  • show you how color can be the best friend you never knew you had
  • steer you through the murky waters of what trends will likely develop into classics in the near future versus those that will inevitably fizzle and burn (and leave you wondering if you perhaps popped some kind of rainbow-colored pill before you went out in broad daylight wearing the offending garment(s))

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  • possibly even write a haiku espousing the wonders of the little black dress:

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Ahhh, the LBD, every girl’s BFF…..now, where was I?

Right. There are many things I can do as a stylist, but sadly there are some things that I CAN’T do, even though I wish I could. I can’t:

  • erase that first memory you have of the boy across the street (AKA your secret crush) yelling at the top of his lungs whilst using your name as fodder for one of his latest rhymes, which, upon further reflection, probably really sucked and was completely unoriginal, but nevertheless, stung at the time. Examples: Hairy Mary, Shelley is smelly, Grace’s face looks like it’s maced, etc. You get the point. It was mean 😦

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  • make you forget the time you wore your favorite new red dress to school, only to hear the Queen bees snicker behind your back (or possibly to your face) that you looked like an overripe tomato.
  • make that loser ex-boyfriend eat his words when he told you that new body-con dress showed off your ‘cute little love handles’ so well, whilst pinching your waist. You dumped him for a reason, remember that!
  • undo the ‘helpful’ little pep talk your ‘friend’ had with you when she told you that she loved you the way you were, but was a little concerned with your (weight/face/insert random body part) while slipping you a card for the nearest gym in town. Wasn’t she just so sweet? (By the way, you saw her last month working that hot pink velour/cheetah print combo track suit. A smile slowly crept across your face as you realized that she looked amazing great somewhat adequate slightly sub-par like an extra on the Rock of Ages set)
  • physically alter parts of your body that you may not be in love with (that probably look great to everyone else and are the way they are for a very good reason!).

So, while I would love to fancy myself as a miracle-worker, and have sometimes been told that I am, I need to realize my limitations. I need to play the game right and follow the rules. Yes, there are rules. So, on that note……next time AKA ‘Part two’, I’ll talk about a few rules to keep in mind when shopping with/for that client or friend/family member who has a hard time seeing the endless possibilities awaiting them.

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I remain fashionably yours,

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